martial arts

Team Lakay’s Eduard Folayang, Kevin Belingon, Geje Eustaquio are among ONE Championship’s best Wushu artists

Kevin Belingon, Geje Eustaquio, Mark Sangiao, Honorio Banario, Edward Kelly, Danny Kingad, Gina Iniong, Eduard Folayang, April Osenio, Joshua Pacio

Kevin Belingon, Geje Eustaquio, Mark Sangiao, Honorio Banario, Edward Kelly, Danny Kingad, Gina Iniong, Eduard Folayang, April Osenio, Joshua Pacio

On February 2, 2018, ONE Championship released a list of its four best Wushu artists. All of the four fighters in the list are from the Philippines, three of which are from Team Lakay of Baguio City namely Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, 34, Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon, 30, and Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio, 28.

Among the first international Wushu tournaments Folayang participated in were the 2002 Busan Asian Games and the 2005 World Wushu Championship. He won bronze medals in both events.

In 2006, Folayang won a silver medal in wushu at the Doha Asian Games. In 2011, he won a gold medal in wushu with a spinning back kick knockout in the final at the South East Asian Games.

In November 2016, Folayang became the ONE Lightweight World Champion after defeating Shinya Aoki of Japan. But in November 2017, the Team Lakay fighter lost the belt to his challenger, Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen, 28, of Australia.

Like Folayang, Belingon is one of the founding members of Team Lakay. Belingon became interested in wushu when he met Team Lakay founder Mark Sangiao, 38.

An aspiring police officer, Belingon was enrolled in the University of the Cordilleras in Baguio City. Sangiao was then the head of the wushu program of the university.

In 2016, Belingon challenged ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes, 37, of Brazil but the Team Lakay fighter failed to dethroned the Brazilian champ as he lost via kimura submission. After this loss, Belingon went on a winning streak defeating Muin “Tahik” Gafurov, 21, Toni “Dynamite” Tauru, 33, Reece “Lightning” McLaren, 26, and Kevin “Oldboy” Chung, 25.

Like Belingon, Eustaquio met Sangiao in the University of the Cordilleras. Having discovered wushu at the age of 14, Eustaquio went on to become a member of the Philippine national wushu team.

From 2013 to present, Eustaquio has fought 11 ONE Championship bouts, having won 6. In January 2018, he was crowned the new ONE Interim Flyweight World Champion after defeating Kairat “The Kazakh” Akhtemov, 30, of Kazakhstan.

Including Folayang, Belingon and Eustaquio, there are currently nine Team Lakay fighters who are signed with ONE Championship. The other six are Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly, 33, Honorio “The Rock” Banario, 28, Gina “Conviction” Iniong, 28, April Osenio, 23, Joshua “The Passion” Pacio, 22, and Danny “The King” Kingad, 22.

Aside from Folayang, Belingon and Eustaquio, Rene “D’ Challenger” Catalan, 39, from Iloilo was also listed as one of the best wushu artists of ONE Championship. Catalan has competed in international wushu tournaments and won several gold medals for the Philippines.

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